Thoughts on Reviewing

Mark Allman
Appears in: 
CCR April 2008

The July 2007 issue of CCR elicited review process horror stories. I expect that everyone has their own vast collection. I certainly do. However, I found that picking my favorite story to be like choosing my favorite offspring. Therefore, rather than focusing on a single tale of woe I have tried to extrapolate some key points from across the suboptimal reviewing I have observed. I write this essay from the perspective of an author who has years of accepts and rejects.1 However, this note is also greatly informed by my refereeing activities over the years (on PCs, reviewing for journals, editorial boards, etc.). My intent is to make general observations in the hopes of contributing to a conversation that improves our overall review processes and ultimately helps us establish a stronger set of community values with regards to what we expect and appreciate in papers. While I strive for generality I do not claim the observations are unbiased or that I have closed all my open wounds in this area.